Vanarama National League South
Saturday 25 February 2017 - Twerton Park - kick off 3.00pm
||O'Leary, Rigg, Welch-Hayes, Batten, Hemmings, Artus (c), Watkins, Murphy, McCootie, Morgan (Diallo 76), McCoulsky (Hunter 85). subs not used: Simpson, Hunter, Hutchinson.
|man of the match:
||Rigg (6), Artus (55), McCootie (90)
||S Purkiss, M Smith, S Scott
|league position: 9th
||next match: Dartford (A)
Report taken from
A sole mistake was all the difference between Bath City and Ebbsfleet United as the Romans' nine-game unbeaten run in the league was brought to an end.
Bradley Bubb notched the Kent side's winner after George Rigg's loose attempted header to seal the points as the hosts found themselves unable to break through a stern rearguard.
The action started at a fast pace as fearless City showed no fear, but were shutout.
Nick McCootie looked sharp on the right and jagged in to feed Shawn McCoulsky for a blocked shot, while incisive passing from Miles-Welch Hayes and Andy Watkins almost set Marvin Morgan in behind.
Veteran frontman Danny Kedwell hammered a 20-yard free-kick into the feet of City's wall at the other end and would have more chances to net by the interval.
His next opportunity came from a corner. Marking Kedwell at the far post, Jack Batten slipped to allow the striker a free header that drifted over the top.
The speed of the game would slow down as the half wore on and Fleet gradually got on top.
Yet City would carve out a presentable opening with slick passing, McCouslky and Miles Welch-Hayes combining to find Morgan in the box with his back to goal, but the striker's lay-off for Watkins was just overhit.
Both McCoulsky and Bubb slashed efforts across goal for each side before Sam Deering drew the first save from either keeper.
He latched onto a through ball that split the home centre-halves and forced Max O'Leary to save with his feet.
Although the visitors got the better of the match by half-time, the Romans were not without chances.
Their next arrived when Frankie Artus arrowed in an inch-perfect long ball to the back post for Watkins to head across goal with a defender the first to react.
Kedwell got a pair of headers in himself, the first tipped over by a leaping O'Leary and the second nudged past the post under pressure.
The visitors appeared to being seeing out the first period in the ascendancy, only for City to make a late break upfield.
Morgan held the ball up excellently and set McCootie bursting into the box, but his final shot was smothered by a sliding defender.
Ebbsfleet returned for the second half in determined mood and had most of the early running.
Yet it took an error at the back for the deadlock to be broken as Rigg's lax back-header was capitalised on by Bubb, who darted in and lobbed O'Leary, with offside calls denied by the officials.
The on-loan keeper then had to fist away a driven Kedwell cross following an untimely slip by Artus, while Kedwell sent another header off target.
Time in the Fleet box
was few and far between for the Romans and opportunities were rare.
A quick turn and shot in the box by McCootie was deflected wide, the striker soon back in the action when he flashed a low cross into the six-yard box that went untouched.
City continued to press for a route back into the contest. Billy Murphy hammered a long-range effort against a defender and Rigg hooked a presentable crossing opportunity into the stands.
There were still openings for the visitors, as substitute Jack Powell sent a dribbler in from distance that skidded around O'Leary's arms before it was finally under his spell.
The closest they came was a well-struck curler from Shaquille Hunter that was deflected inches wide.
From the follow-up corner, however, Ebbsfleet should have doubled their advantage.
With City all at sea, Anthony Cook was played into acres of space on the left, rounded O'Leary and struck the post from a tight with an open goal ahead.
Dangerman Sam Deering tried his luck from near the halfway line following a loose O'Leary clearance, the keeper kneeing the ball off his line.
And though City huffed and puffed in the closing stages, which Ebbsfleet managed to waste much of, there would be no saving their unbeaten run.